10 Tips On Routine Inspections
A special thanks to Trillium Tours for the great information
Our bikes carry the most precious cargo there is – us. Taking the time for a few routine inspections can make a big difference when it comes to safety and our enjoyment of the ride. No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road – or worse.
Checking your bike before you ride confirms it's worthy to carry you; checking it post-ride will catch any parts that may have come loose and you'll be able to note minor changes before they become major problems.
Your best resource to help with this is your owner's manual. Here are some things to inspect:
- Tires - Pressure – measure when tires are cold. Both the tire and motorcycle manufacturer will have specifications and in all likelihood, front and rear tires will be different. - Tire tread – if you're down to the wear bars, it's time for new tires. Look for worn tread, uneven wear, cracks, bulges, cupping, and any foreign objects.
- Spokes should be uniformly tight and intact; they can be tightened with a spoke wrench. Rims need to be true with no dents.
- Drive Chain – make sure the tension is correct and that the chain is well lubricated. Check drive belt for wear and tension; if you have a shaft drive, check fluid levels and that there are no leaks.
- Cables & hoses – make sure there is no fraying or kinking; no binding when handlebars are activated.
- Fluid levels – oil, brake fluid, transmission, and coolant – refer to your owner's manual for the correct way to assess. Make sure there are no leaks.
- Lights and electrics – activate brake light with front and rear brakes independently; check front and rear indicators, horn, headlights – high and low beams.
- Throttle – should snap back to home position.
- Brakes – check brake pads for wear periodically. Test both front and rear to make sure they're working satisfactorily.
- Sidestand retracts firmly, there is no bending, cracks or damage; the spring is intact and the cut-out switch operates properly.
- Clutch and brake levers operate properly, are not too loose and are adjusted properly.
Look in the mirror. Make sure that you are physically, mentally and emotionally fit to ride.